The theft of a disk from HSBC in Switzerland, data from which eventually found its way to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), has led to the conviction of a Berkshire man who admitted to evading tax of £430,000.

The money on which the tax was due came from his mother’s estate and was not declared for Inheritance Tax purposes.

The case came to light after a French employee of HSBC stole a disk containing, amongst other information, details of 6,000 UK citizens who had accounts at the bank’s branches in Switzerland. This information was passed to HMRC by the French authorities.

This is the first criminal prosecution to be brought since the information was obtained in 2010. The total cost (excluding legal fees) in tax and penalties amounts to more than £850,000.